It is quite natural that we as parents want to protect our child from all dangers and evils. As the child grows need more freedom and we have to let him go his way. But how can you prepare him for unexpected situations?
We need to be aware and let our child know that the most people are kind and act with the best intentions but world can be a scary place, too and there are a few bad apples.
We can regularly hear stories of missing, kidnapped or raped children and women in the news. Avoidance of this topic or hoping that it will never happen to your family won’t make it go away. Be proactive and open an honest conversation with your beloved, your child and answer his/her question in an age appropriate manner and make a plan.
Here are some tips to help keep you and your child safe:
- Trust your instincts when you are with someone about whom you feel uncomfortable (e.g., in an elevator, in a car, in your home). This can be especially difficult for both children and adults who have been socialized to be polite.
- Teach your child that he/she has the right to say NO to any unwelcome, uncomfortable, or confusing touch or actions by others.
- Your body belongs only to you: the child should learn his/her body and to determine the boundaries and defend them.
- Make an effort to know the people with whom your child is spending time.
- Teach your child to never accept gifts, rides or money from strangers.
- Practice basic safety skills with your child.
- Make sure your child knows their full name, address and phone number.
- Make sure that your child knows how to reach you (cell numbers and work numbers).
- Stress to your child that he or she should feel comfortable telling you anything, especially if it involves another adult.
- Listen to your child. Pay attention if they tell you that they do not want to be with someone or go somewhere.
- Be sensitive to any changes in your child’s behavior or attitude.
- Teach your child to always stay in groups.
- Teach your child how to call the police.